Sunday, November 12, 2006

Is GM’s Fastlane Blog Keying Recovery?

If you didn’t know yet, General Motors is leading the U.S. big three in the race to recovery and prosperity. Fueling recovery has been cost cutting mechanisms and future investments in new green technologies.

Along with GM’s investment decisions is an increasingly cooler brand perception amongst younger buyers. Yes, that’s right, a better brand perception. GM’s becoming hot. I’ve really noticed this with male friends in their 20s.

Yet, the big question must be why? Increases in quality are on par with Ford, and still lag behind the Japanese automakers. And yeah, I think their ads aren't any better than the others, too.

So what’s keying the perception change? I think Fastlane, GM’s corporate blog, is playing a bigger role than some people might think. This very popular entity is regularly in the top ranked blogs, currently number 3,073 on Technorati. It’s also considered on of the top ten corporate blogs (hat tip Marketing Nirvana). Not bad for a bunch of old execs (and their editors) writing up the latest developments from their personal shop.

Fastlane is fun. It’s got everyone writing from the Vice Chair of the company to specific design and product managers. The chat is light, tongue and cheek, and certainly exciting with lots of concepts and technology. No wonder people like the blog.

If you want to influence people under the age of 40 in today’s “post-modern” media environment you better have a blog strategy. That’s where they’re going to get information. GM realized this and has taken a proactive approach to the new era of marketing. And coincidentally Ford and Chrysler don’t have strong blogs. Hmmm. 2+2= Bingo, Fastlane.

Certainly if GM’s products don’t meet the brand promise of better cars in the future then the company will have troubles. But for now, the strategy seems to be affecting people's opinions of the company. It's be great if someone did some qualitative research on Fastlane's impact.

Over and over I am seeing corporations turn blogs into business successes. Currently, we have helped five different clients with blog strategies, and four of them are already launched. Guess what, they’re working. So is this one, generating 1/5th of my client base to date.

Business blogging works. Anyone who doesn’t think so, God bless you: Five years from now you’ll be singing a different song, or you’ll have a new career path. Bold prediction? Maybe to some, but for me it’s high probability. You just have to get in the Fastlane.

Personal Business Update

Business opportunity is through the roof. Got an oral on a very nice big B2G deal, just need to work through the contracting process over the next couple of months. So in my mind, if this deal closes it's a reputation maker. Speaking of, we had a trial project this week and #1 knocked the ball out of the park. Way to go, #1.

Still working on closing several other deals. It’s like pushing a rock up the hill, three steps forward, two steps back. Most of this stuff is 2007 dollars. It’s rough handling all of the volume and ensuring client success (my wife made me not work most of Saturday), but it’s absolutely necessary, too.

Monday quotes:

“For the man sound in body and serene of mind there is no such thing as bad weather; every sky has its beauty, and storms which whip the blood do but make it pulse more vigorously.”
- George Gissing, The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft

“If success is rare and slow, everybody knows how quick and easy ruin is.”
-William Thackeray, Vanity Fair

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
-Joseph P. Kennedy


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I very much like and agree with your bold prediction!

10:16 PM  

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